During the golf rounds, it is not uncommon for golfers to encounter many problems when approaching the greens, which can quickly cost them a lot of points. In search of solutions, these golfers most often think of changing their putter. At the same time, it is essential to have quality wedges to facilitate the approach to the green. Otherwise, it will be difficult for you to take less than two putts regularly.
A good choice of a wedge in your club streak will go a long way in helping you achieve birdies. Besides, keep in mind that it is 20% of your strokes on average that you will play with your wedges. It is therefore important to choose them carefully if you plan to optimize your game.
The question that must now be asked is the following: how to choose the right wedge?
To answer this problem, this guide sheds light on the different types of wedges that exist and their characteristics.
The Different Types Of Wedges
There are several types of wedges. There are four types of wedges: the pitching wedge, the gap wedge, the sand wedge, and the lob wedge. Each of the models mentioned offers different characteristics that you need to know.
The Pitching Wedge
This is the most famous wedge among golfers. The pitching wedge (PW) has an opening angle of between 44 and 48 degrees. In the wedge category, this type of wedge has the smallest opening angle. Despite its popularity, its use is not to be solicited at all times.
Generally, it should be used to achieve approach shots over a distance of up to 100 meters, depending on the player’s power. Its loft (that is to say its opening angle) allows the golf ball to be lifted when the green is nearby.
The Gap Wedge
Like the pitching wedge, the gap wedge (GW) should be used on grass for smoother play. Its opening angle is different from that of the pitching wedge and varies between 50 and 54 degrees. This feature allows it to bridge the distance gaps on a golf course with higher shots.
Its rebound angle can turn around 5 to 12 degrees. When the need is for long shots, the gap wedge is not what is needed. It takes its name because it is the intermediary between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge, another type of wedge.
The Sand Wedge
This wedge is specially designed to perform blows in hollow or sand-filled areas. Said areas generally serve as obstacles for golfers. The smallest loft on this wedge is 54 degrees. It can, however, reach 58 degrees, depending on the convenience of the golfer. The sand wedge (SW) is the most versatile of all wedges and can therefore be used anywhere on the court.
Due to its versatility, the sand wedge was the club of choice for golfers for a long time before the appearance of lob wedges. Compared to other wedges, this type of club is shorter. In addition to this, its sole has a wide structure with considerable weight. They allow having a bounce effect after exiting a bunker. You can reach up to 90 meters with a sand wedge.
The Lob Wedge
The lob wedge (LW) is the most open club, with a bounce angle between 60 and 64 degrees. This opening angle allows the ball to be sent high into the sky for a short distance. This particularity makes it effective when you have an obstacle very close to you, and you want to go over it.
You can reach up to 70 meters with a lob wedge. Besides, it prevents the ball from spinning a lot once it falls to the ground. This allows you to look for flags where the green is narrow.
The Different Characteristics Of A Wedge
A golfer does not have to make the same use of all wedges. The reason behind this reasoning is simple: wedges do not have the same characteristics. Knowing this aspect will be useful in making a good choice.
The loft is the opening angle of the clubhead. This angle allows predicting the impact that the club will have on the ball after a stroke. When the angle value is high, the ball will also reach a great height. At the same time, it will cover less distance from the ground. The classification in crossing order of the wedges according to the heights obtained gives:
- the pitching wedge
- the gap wedge
- the sand wedge
- the lob wedge
Regarding the distance traveled on the ground by the ball, the classification is in the opposite direction. It is, therefore, necessary to take into account the distance and the height that you want to choose your wedge.
The obsession of the golfer when he has a wedge in his hands is the scratch. To prevent this type of inconvenience, consider the bounce, which is also called the bounce angle. Depending on the area of the game, you need to adapt the bounce that suits you.
(a) Low Bounce Wedge
Each quoted wedge has a rebound angle and is classified according to this data. When the wedge’s bounce angle is between 4 and 6 degrees, the wedge in question is a low rebound. This feature makes it easier to hit on firm fairways and bunkers with a lot of sand. The use of this wedge requires a lot of creativity on the part of the player.
(b) Mid bounce wedge
Medium or standard rebound wedges give you more freedom in your swing. They are practical on all surfaces of the course. The wedges affected are those with a bounce angle of 7 to 8 degrees.
(c) High Bounce Wedge
The wedge is high rebound when its angle is greater than 10 degrees. It is perfect for players who like deep bunkers. The reason for this choice is that the impact in contact with the ball produces height. It is wrong to think that high rebounds are reserved for wedges with a high opening angle. The ball can be very high and have a reduced distance to the ground while having a low bounce angle.
In addition to serving as protection against the sun’s glare, the finish is also a function of taste. To choose a finish, it is important to know how each material resists over time. There are several of them. The most resistant finishes are those that are in nickel or chrome. They allow the color to be maintained for a long time.
On the other hand, some materials do not manage to maintain their shine for very long. They rust more easily over time. The rough finishes favor this type of reaction. By the way, there are also dark finishes. Although they initially present an attractive appearance, they quickly show aging, which is noticeable through the paint.
When To Use A Wedge?
As you now know, there are several types of the wedge. So you have to know when to use each one. The pitching wedge is the first wedge with which we come into contact. It allows for approach shots of up to 100 meters.
This distance may vary depending on the player, as it depends on the power of the latter. Other types of wedge do not offer this possibility. It can also be useful when it is not possible to pull out a flick. It is convenient for crossing the obstacles that are on the course.
The gap wedge is to be used to make sharp shots near the green. To get you closer to the hole, this is the ideal wedge.
As for the sand wedge, you can use it almost anywhere because of its versatility. It is very practical for getting out of bunkers, from the fairway or even at the edge of the green. It should not be considered for use when the soil surface is fairly firm.
Finally, the lob wedge acts over a shorter distance. On the other hand, it allows giving height to the ball. It is, therefore, useful for the shortest shots and is often characterized by a very open loft.
The ball’s very high trajectory means that it will not roll much on the green and help you make less than two putts.
In light of all that has been mentioned, there are several kinds of wedges. Each of them is designed for a specific job. From the pitching wedge to the lob wedge, including the gap wedge and the sand wedge, the opening angles differ. This is what influences their optimal use. In addition, there are many features to consider for wedges.
These are the loft, the bounce and the finish. The bounce is the bounce angle. It is split into three and is defined according to the value of the angle between the sole and the ground. The bounce can be low, medium or high. The loft is the club head’s opening angle, while the finish concerns the materials to be used for the aesthetic side. The right choice of these finishing materials is important because not all of them are resistant. You are now equipped for a sporting experience richer than ever. Don’t forget to have fun. Good luck!